Bake & Mark

7 06 2007

To all yuh Trinis out there, I apologize in advance for what you are about to see.

Bakes.  The Naparima Girls High School Cookbook also calls them “floats,” which is a more descriptive name than “bakes” since they’re fried.  And when they puff up (quite spectacularly) in the oil they do indeed float.

Wednesday was Jonathan’s birthday so he got to choose what was for dinner.  Karen gave him some choices and he chose fish.  When the kids say “Yay! Fish!” in our house it means one thing: Bake and shark.  But we don’t have shark available here usually so we use catfish or (even better) tilapia.

Question to the Trinis.  About a month ago I actually saw mako shark steaks at the local butcher / fishmonger.  I thought this meal was prepared with fillets since they’re fried and they’re so thin.  But Karen said the steaks would work.  My inner Trini is coming out so I don’t trust her.  What do you think?

Back to my point.  Karen worked 9-5 on Wednesday so I decided to make the Bake & Shark.  Karen has her own recipe for bakes but I couldn’t find it so I looked in the Naparima cookbook.  It looked easy enough.  I added the flour, salt, baking powder, and a little bit of the water and started mixing it with a spoon.  Horrified, Aliyah took over.  Apparently you’re supposed to use your hands when mixing bread dough.  Who knew?  Aliyah kneaded the dough and shaped the bakes while I seasoned the fish. 

Unrelated side note: The Naparima cookbook has a recipe for green seasoning and it makes a cup.  Does anyone make a cup of green seasoning at a time?  I thought people made 5 gallons at a time to give to everyone in your family.  But I don’t know for sure because Karen’s green seasoning comes from a good friend of her mother.

So I’m supposed to fry the bakes and the fish at the same time, and I’m as good at multitasking as I am with substituting ingredients in recipes.  Aliyah made the first few bakes really small because she knew I’d need a few to ruin before I got it right.  Those things went from white and raw to black and burned in about 15 seconds.  “You’d better turn them now” she says.  Oh well.

It’s not burned, it’s blackened.

Most of the bakes turned out okay, but Karen didn’t say anything about the fish.  I assume that means they were seasoned properly, but I’m afraid to ask.  I did burn myself while turning one of the fillets.  I then overcooked it and then dropped it on the floor when I was taking it out of the skillet. 

Bake & Shark

4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups water (approx.)
Oil for frying

Sift flour, salt, and baking powder
Add enough water to make a soft dough.
Knead for about 10 minutes and leave to rest for a half hour
Cut in pieces and roll each to a 5″-6″ diameter
Fry in hot oil until brown, turning once.

Shark (or whatever):
1 lb. tilapia or catfish fillets
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 tbsp. green seasoning
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup flour seasoned with garlic salt and pepper
Oil for frying

Wash the fish with water and season well with the lime juice, green seasoning, and salt; leave to marinate.
Coat the fish in seasoned flour and fry a few pieces at a time in hot oil.



8 responses

7 06 2007

Hey Mark,
I can’t advise you on the fish topic, however, I find that the recipes in the Naps cookbook aren’t that great. I tried making a Polenta and it was a disaster! Do you look at Barefoot Contessa? You should try her lemon cake! Yummy!

8 06 2007

How does Alton Brown knead bread dough?

8 06 2007

hey Mark, i couldn’t help but comment about the bakes . You should try this receipe from my fave cook-wendy rahamut
4 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbs shortning( this gives it the crisy crust})crumble into flour until fine
add water in small amouts or it will become gooey. Leave for 30 mins.roll into balls and leave for 10mins . use a rolling pin to flatten them then fry. DO NOT LEAVE THE POT WHEN FRYING . try it!

8 06 2007

Who is Wendy Rahamut?
The fish came out great! The bakes came out OK. Mark and Aliyah couldn’t find my usual bake recipe so they used the Naparima version. My usual recipe uses yeast in addition to baking powder, and they get really puffy, almost spherical when they are frying! They end up really light and fluffy.

8 06 2007

Wendy Rahamut is the new Trini food guru. I would like to take some of her cooking courses, but her base is in San Fernando. Mark, I am really impressed, your fry bakes look very good. I hope I get to taste all this stuff when next I visit.

10 06 2007

Not too sure about the shark steaks but I might tell you that most of the “bake and shark” on Maracas is really bake and cat fish. So next time you know what to go looking for.

11 06 2007

oooh. bake and shark. Nice. Well, bake and fish, but they sell bake and fish in Maracas too.
My mother uses a little yeast in her bakes too – makes them a bit lighter and softer on the inside. And a little bit of shortening does make it crispy.
As for the cup of green seasoning, some strange people apparently do make it just for the dish they’re cooking…I think the TriniGourmet does that, but then she’s also half Jamaican 😉

17 06 2007
The TriniGourmet

lolz, i heard that chennette hehe 🙂 but yes i do attribute the fact that i make green seasoning in ‘ready to use’ portions to my jamaican mother who distrusts what she considers Trini’s ‘stale’ seasonings

as for the bake and fish i’d go with the fillets, and hmm i always mix my doughs with a spoon until everything is just incorporated, then i continue by hand.

wendy rahamut’s classes are basically the same thing as her cooking show, there is no hands on or one or one interaction from what i’ve been told by people who’ve attended.

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